I never really felt that people had a right to be upset when other people or corporations took away their rights. That is, until it happened to me.

Most unfortunately, it had to happen at the one place in the world where I feel that a boy like me can be truly happy: Disneyland.

This is how the Disneyland website describes the Jedi Training Academy:

Feel the Force flow within you as your Jedi training begins. Hone your lightsaber skills as you and other Padawans learn techniques and moves from a Jedi Master. Then, put your training to the ultimate test as you do battle against the dark side. May the Force be with you!

Sounds awesome, huh? It gets better.

As a Jedi Knight Padawan, you will:

  • Take the Jedi oath
  • Master lightsaber skills
  • Learn moves such as the joust, parry and block
  • Battle the forces of the dark side, including Stormtroopers, Darth Maul, and Darth Vader

That’s right, you actually get to have a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader and Darth Maul!

“Oh my god,” you say, “this sounds like the greatest thing ever! Let’s go to Disneyland right now!



Jedi Training Academy participants will be randomly selected from amongst audience members, aged 4-12, who volunteer to be part of the show.

Four to twelve? FOUR TO TWELVE?!?

What do four year olds know about Star Wars? I’ll tell you what: NOTHING. Even if you’re 12, that means you were probably born 5 years before Phantom Menace came out. That’s the worst one! Little shits like that came of age in a time where they could ask Santa for a Force Fx lightsaber of their own. The kind that sense motion and have realistic lights and sound.

What about us? The ones who had to use a goddam tennis racket or a wiffle ball bat? The ones who made the swooshing noise with our mouths? What do we get?

I’ll tell you what we get: FUCKED IN THE ASS!

Look, I understand that it’s probably really fun for the kids to get up and do this and I am also positive that introducing a bunch of grown men who’ve never kissed a girl into the mix is going to ruin things, but that’s life.

If your kid’s lightsaber skills suck and he gets poked in the eye, how is that my problem? I’m not saying this should be an all-out battle to the death, but it should be close. I’m sure there’s gotta be a good hospital somewhere near Anaheim. It’ll be fine, trust me.

So please, Disneyland, open up the Jedi Training Academy to everyone except Star Wars nerds who, for the sake of this argument, I will define as anyone who takes their love of Star Wars farther than me, because that’s when it stops being super cool like I am.

Because there is nothing cooler than a grown man in a Jedi cloak, with a plastic lightsaber, beating the shit out of some little kids.



  1. Eric,
    This is not a setback, it is your lifes’ mission to establish a rogue Jedi training camp near Anaheim. The time is now. After several years of intense training, your Jedi squad will infiltrate Disneyland, teaching them the lesson they obviously deserve.

  2. i would like to offer my services to your Rebel Alliance. i, of course, can’t fight for shit, but i CAN do a Wookie impression that will make you question your very existence.

  3. i worked at disneyworld for a semester of school, bullshit. its this disney co-op thing i did for school and it was terrible. but there is some way more fucked up shit that happens at disneyworld but they have the same “academy” and its total bullshit. don’t even sweat it, check it, i got the whole scoop. they come out on stage and they pick like 5-6 kids at random. they come on stage and an IMPOSTER comes on and shows theses little fucks how to use a fake lightsaber. its not even fucking real!! disneys got all this money to make movies about talking cars but they can’t build a fucking light saber. they are learning nothing. the whole thing last about 10 minutes and usually 1 of the kids doesn’t even get to hold the lightsaber.

  4. Disney are beholden to the Sith, I agree too, form your own academy; make kids pay to attend so you get to beat the ever living shit out of them and make money. But do watch out for catholic priests trying to join…

  5. but lets get right down to brass tax, if you showed up at disneyland wearing a jedi uniform they would have to let you in the “training camp”.

  6. Most everything is designed for Kids as far as the shows go, you probably wouldn’t be chosen for the Prince/Princess festival, or the Merlin shows, etc. I’m sure it’s kept to the young kids because of safety concerns. If you’ve watched the show, the Jedi instructs the kids on where to swing the saber and when, and its difficult to keep the kids in line with the flow of the act – but if they don’t nobody gets hurt. If a kid goes nuts, everyone laughs, if a fully grown adult goes nuts the guy’s in the show get a beating. Weather or not you personally would doesn’t mean that everyone would act responsibly.

  7. Tiphae,
    I understand your concerns, but the fact remains that there are a very large number of adult Star Wars fans who would love the chance to live out their dreams like this. Perhaps they could make the light sabers covered in a soft foam material to cut down on the chance of injury? The truth is, there are many things you can purchase within Disneyland itself which could be used as a weapon (I am thinking specifically of the hard, flexible rubber pirate knives), so what’s really there to stop people from going crazy anyway?

  8. Hey, I feel for ya.

    Yet I hope you did not freak out with all that profanity around kids at the park when they shocked you with the realization you would not be able to participate.

    I know this is little compensation for not being able to get your ‘geek-on’ at Disneland…but other geeks like yourself are crossing their fingers for the Star Wars: Jedi Academy for the Nintendo Wii. So you can brandish the new controller like lightsaber. Have you seen what they were able to achieve with their new title: “Red Steel”?

    Other geeks are hoping for Star Trek: Phaser and Bat-leth games for the Wii controller too.

    They are also looking forward to experiences like Star Wars:Online and Star Trek:Online (coming 2008-9)instead of having to face the humiliation of joining up for a kids ‘Space Camp’ program.

    Try a fencing class. A few flashy moves does not a fighter make.

    Check out historical documents on the web that can teach you, on-line, the fighting styles taught in the great academies. You’ll be a better ‘practical’ swordfighter in one hour with those documents than a week ‘playing’ at Disneyland.

    Remember that what you see in almost every cases on tv and film is not real world sword fighting.

    Look for a local S.C.A. chapter in your area. Go fight against the closet thing to real sword-fighters left on the planet. They don’t mess around either. Prepare for a real sword-fighter’s world of pleasure and pain.

    Anway, there are no problems, Jedi…only solutions.

  9. I am pretty excited for that Jedi Academy game for the Wii. I’m not sure there would be much reason to ever make another video game if they came out with that. Unless they totally screwed it up. Which they probably will. Why do I even bother getting my hopes up? Nothing ever works out for me! I think the one point we can agree on is that kids are spoiled and don’t deserve all this great stuff.

  10. I just wanted you to know that the paragraph about the RV of your life crashing into the brick wall made of dynamite and horse dung is going to be the epitaph on my headstone when I die, and is already in development as we speak. Thank you, Eric Filipkowski. Thank you.

  11. I currently work at Disneyland, in fact I am part of the opening crew at the Jedi Training academy, I am the official tailor for the Jedi knights. I also prepare the dark side for battle, someone has to polish the armor right? I wanted to let you know you are definately not the only one who feels shafted by the fact that adults are not allowed. I know everyone who works the show and just so you know if the Jedi Master was given the opportunity to pick adults he would. Darth Vader and Darth Maul would delight in the chance to show grown men that they are nothing compared to them. All of us would love to train adults in the ways of the force, but Disney will not allow it, but know that we fight for it everyday.

  12. Wow, a real Jedi knight! I’m assuming they don’t ask adults because they don’t want anyone getting hurt or something lame like that. I was there on Sunday and I didn’t even watch the show, I just hung my head in shame and walked by, defeated. Then I went over to the 2 hour Nemo line and cried myself to sleep. Did you see me there? I had a pink pig on my shirt.

  13. i too work with the jedi training academy at disneyland, and i can’t really say what i do because i have to “preserve the magic,” but you can use your imagination. leilani is right, we would love to have some adults come and do the show, and we know it would make a lot of people happy, but think about this: vader and maul get hit my countless sabors every single day… a grown man hits infinitely harder than a seven year old… how would you like to be darth maul getting whacked in the head by a plastic lightsabor by an over-excited 40 year old man?? not pleasant! so as much as we would love to include the kids-at-heart, too, our top priority is keeping vader and maul and everyone else safe!

  14. Plus, a grown man may have a pacemaker, and I’m sure that if a microwave oven affects those things, it would certainly go on the fritz if they shot lightning out of their fingers at him, which is what they should do if they don’t want to get hit . Not to mention that seven year olds recover from electrocution much better than older people (not to mention they’re WAY funnier). Safety first!

  15. Man, this is exciting! I’m hella jealous you guys get to work at the land. My friend who works at the park told me that below the stage, there’s a break room where the walls are covered with all the posters made by little kids trying to get in the show and they say hilarious things like “I’m going to kill Darth Vader for you, Mickey” and stuff.

  16. Yes, our walls are adorned with the pleas of the children that come to the show. Some of the signs are really funny and some aren’t. I think my favorite is one that says “My sister is an ewok.” I think I would like to see what his sister really looks like.

  17. Wow, this just keeps getting better. Maybe his sister is one of those kids with that disease where you have fur all over your face? That would be great! Did you see me riding the subs last week?

  18. I’m sure that they had nothing better to do than to watch for you on the subs. Come on you need to do a few things. 1 move out of moms house. 2 stop telling everyone how you are still a virgin and are holding out for Princess Leah. 3 Stay away from the star wars for about a year and see if you can’t break yourself of those stupid obsesive habits. 4 stop thinking you are so super cool cause your not. 5 realize none of it is real, at all, it’s a very well made movie that is very popular. That is all. So put away your star wars legos and stop harrasing the girl at lego land to give you a deal on the death star kit, and get a life. Disney is for families. Next time you go there you should have one.

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